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Natural Intestinal Flora Strengthens Immune System

Signals from natural intestinal bacteria are necessary for an effective immune response to various viral or bacterial germs. This was the result of experiments by a research team led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach and Stephanie Ganal at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene of the Freiburg University Medical Center. The study was published in the current online edition of the Cell Press journal Immunity.

Trillions of bacteria reside in the intestines of healthy humans as well as those of many animals. This natural intestinal flora contributes to digestion and the metabolism of vitamins and is of critical importance for the host organism. Recent research has shown that the intestinal flora also plays an important role in the formation of the immune system in the intestines and that changes to it can increase the risk of food allergies or chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases.

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